Friday, 1 October 2010

Last night's pub quiz on cookstoves

At the Carpenters Arms last night, Ashden's Senior Advisor Anne Wheldon spoke about cookstoves as the secret weapon against poverty and climate change. Her talk gave the background to Ashden's recent report Stoking up a cookstove revolution and prompted so many questions about cookstoves that it might have been a pub quiz. (If only we knew all the answers.)

The Hedon meeting took place in an upstairs room in the pub, crowded with people with a high level of knowledge about cookstoves. The questions afterwards included:

How would Hillary Clinton's $50m affect those already making cookstoves?

Would the money go towards pre-finance? (A big problem is waiting for accreditation for carbon finance,which can take three to four years.)

Would there be a global standard of efficiency over cookstoves?

Would that standard be based on design features or on measurable output?

How is the Clinton scheme different from other initiatives over the years?

Is it better to have a very popular stove that improves efficiency by 25% or not-so-popular one that improves efficiency by 90%?

Why isn't there a hefty textbook on cookstoves - with all the maths, geometry and equations - freely available to designers?

Where's the social science research on what makes some gadgets take off?

Why did mobile phones take off in Africa? (Hint: it's the men who buy the phones, the women who buy the stoves.)

For more on stoves: Stoking up a cookstove revolution (Ashden Awards)
See also: Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and Hillary Clinton calls clean cookstoves a "cross-cutting issue"
And for some Ashden award-winning stove projects, go to: TWP/AHDESA, GERES Cambodia and Aprovecho/SSM.

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